French government spokesperson Gabriel Attal has said that an investigation will be opened into the unavailability of hospital beds. He was speaking after the council of ministers meeting earlier today. The move follows a survey by Professor Jean-Francois Delfraissy, the President of the Scientific Council, which suggested that about 20% of beds in CHUs and CHRs are currently unavailable because of staff shortages.
The number of Category A unemployed people in France has fallen by 5.5% in the third quarter of this year according to figures from the French government. There are still just over 3.5 million Category A jobseekers. The total number of jobseekers stands at just over 5.8 million, including those who have a reduced activity.
The Gare du Nord in Paris was evacuated this afternoon because of a suspicious package. Bomb disposal personnel were in attendance. The station has now reopened and some trains have resumed but there is still some disruption to services, which are expected to gradually return to normal.
The hiker who was missing in the hills above Monaco has been found safe and sound. A large search operation was mounted after the 80 year old went missing on Monday.
Motorway operator Vinci Autoroutes have said that for the coming second weekend of the Toussaint holidays, traffic is expected to be very busy on French motorways, mainly on Friday at the end of the day, on Saturday morning and on Monday November 1 in the afternoon. In our region on the A8 motorway, in both directions, traffic will be heavy on Friday from mid-morning until late afternoon around large cities, mainly around Aix-en-Provence. It will be the same on Monday, November 1 in the direction of returns.
UK Chancellor Rishi Sunak has deliverd his budget statement to the House of Commons this afternoon. He revealed that the independent Office for Budget Responsibility has increased its forecast for UK economic growth this year to 6.5%. In March it had forecast growth of 4%. However, it has now forecast growth of only 6% next year, down from its previous estimate of 7.3%.
The Port of Dublin has said that Brexit has driven a large growth in volumes on the port's direct shipping routes with continental Europe. In a trading report released today the port said that there has been a "large and consistent change" in the geographical mix of Dublin Port’s trade since the introduction of Brexit border controls in January this year. Volumes on routes to Great Britain declined by 21.2% in the nine months but volumes on routes to continental Europe increased by 36.3%.
The price of a pint of beer will have to rise by as much as 30p to help pay for higher wages and energy costs, according to a hospitality business in the UK. City Pub Group said that the recently announced rise in the National Living Wage in the UK would cost it about 1 million pounds per year and price rises were "the only way forward".
Cricket...England have beated Bangladesh by eight wickets in the T20 World Cup in Abu Dhabi. Bangladesh were 124-9 after their 20 overs, with Moeen Ali taking two wickets in two balls in the third over. England were 126 for 2 after 14.1 overs.
Rugby Union...Four uncapped players will start for Scotland in their Autumn Nations Series match against Tonga on Saturday. They are Rufus McLean and Sione Tuipulotu from Glasgow Warriors, and Edinburgh players Jamie Hodgson and Pierre Schoeman.
Athletics..A missionary from Ireland has received an award for athletics coaching. Brother Colm O'Connell was the recipient of the Irish Presidential Distinguished Service Award for his work coaching athletes in Kenya for over 40 years, including Olympic medal winnwers and world record holders.